A 13 FORTS Filipino contingent, led by members of the 31st Southeast Asian Games athletes, opens its campaign on Friday at the Asian Junior Masters Championships at Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket, Thailand.
New national stroke play champions Kristoffer Arevalo and Jet Hernandez will team up with Shinichi Suzuki and Patrick Tambalque in the main Junior Masters competition with two players each from the 15-23 age bracket and two others from the age 13-14 years old. .
Mafy Singson leads the Philippine bid in the Junior Girls Masters Tag Team Play, also following the boys division age format, hoping to keep up the momentum of her back-to-back National Stroke Play wins and at the Philippine Junior Amateur this month. She is joined by her SEA Games teammate Lois Kaye Go, Reese Ng and Gabie Rosca.
They will also participate in the individual events where the five other members of the PHL team – Laurea Duque, Miguel Ilas, Leandro Bagtas, Marc Lu and Andres Lorenzo – are registered for the tournament which will be played over 54 holes.
Arevalo, Hernandez, Lu, Ilas, Bagtas, Lorenzo, Go and Singson are all entered in the 15-23 age bracket while Ng, Rosca, Suzuki and Tambalque compete in the 13-14 age bracket.
“This is a very important outing for us as it is our last exhibition for the SEA Games. We just hope to gain some confidence here,” said national coach Boyet Zaragosa, who gets an extra helping hand here from Nikki Ng, mom of Reese who is also president of the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines.
The Asian Junior Masters is in fact the first major international event attended by a contingent sanctioned by the National Golf Association of the Philippines since the pandemic began two years ago.
Young bets have also seen their journeys made easier by Philippine Airlines with their reservations, excess weight and even a dedicated check-in counter.
The NGAP, meanwhile, is also set to host a major international event, the Nomura Cup or the Asian Amateur Team Championship, next June.